Walking the West Coast – Part 3: The last kilometers.

This is the story of two normal guys in search of a challenge. Maybe you would like to start at Part 1, to read the full story of this beach expedition.

vooronweer

We woke up in the tent under a house… That was quite unique! This day we had to make lots of kilometers to make up for the hours walking around at the industrial area. We walked, walked and walked more. We made a large amount of kilometers in the morning and went swimming during the day. It was hot again! In the evening we arrived to a special part of our trip. There was no more beach, just a dike to walk on. There was lots of fog which made it very mysterious. It was long ago i walked on grass and when i saw the typically Dutch landscape of cows and fields, i remembered that i was not in a foreign country. Lots of time i had this feeling. The feeling of being in a foreign country on a far away expedition. This feeling has been growing for 5 days now and seeing cows made me realize that it is possible to be on a real adventure in your own country. The feeling of being far away from my house, friends, family and normal life. But far away meant in this case 160 kilometers. As much as we would walk in these 6 days.

dijk

After a well deserved night of rest the we kept on walking. Today would be the day of days! We would make it! We had 20 kilometers left so we could chill a bit, eat ice-cream and swim. A friend of Henk came along for the last 20 kilometers which gave us a new impulse. The whole 5 days where the same, walking through the sand, next to the water with just us both. Now a new person was coming along to celebrate the end with us! In my head there would be marching bands walking with us the last 200 meter, a big pole saying: Den Helder and at least 20 people with flags waving at us. While getting closer to our end goal, we noticed beach poles saying: 2 kilometers to Den Helder. Then 1,5 and 1 kilometer… We were almost there! 6 days of sand, blisters, rain, sun, salt and steps. Lots and lots of steps, and now we were almost there! The next pole said 0,5 km. Almost… We walked trough the shore when i noticed that the beach became a bit smaller. And smaller until it just stopped. We were at the end. No marching band, no people waving flags or cheering. Not even a pole saying “Den Helder”. Just the end of the beach. So apparently that was it… If you walk a marathon you see a finish, if you’re biking you have a destination. If you’re walking the westcoast-beach, the beach just stops. It puts everything in perspective. What i did, felt like my biggest adventure ever done. 6 days of painful legs and knees, sometimes dragging myself trough rain or heat but with my heart full of passion for adventure. All this time i was looking forward to this point. The end: Den Helder. And now I found myself standing next to a little girl making sandcastles and a sunbathing guy. Nobody had any idea what we did, what we went trough, the moments of happiness, misery and realizations. The moments we shared, and the individual moments. We made a trip, and it was OUR trip. The only thing we can do is share this and inspire you to make YOUR own trip.

loop

We ended the trip at the “Lange Jaap” the tallest cast iron light post of Europe. Now it was time for a well deserved beer and food. The fact that the beach just ended and there was no mark on the beach made me think about the saying: “Its not about the destination, its about the trip” and for me that’s 100% true!

jaap

Some people called us crazy, some called us brave and others gave us hot chocolate and tips where to camp. We were not trained nor did we expect how it would be. The only thing we have is a passion for adventure and this is the most important. It was the passion that drove us from Hoek van Holland to Den Helder… And a huge amount of muesli bars!

DCIM100GOPRO

This thursday the short film about the trip will be released. Keep your eyes on this site if you dont want to miss it!

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